Today we’re going to find out what I actually do as a musician! Despite having a ‘Career’ category on this blog, “I don’t really understand your job” is a statement I’ve encountered a fair few times in the blog world recently. People never ask me in real life as everyone I know is either in the creative arts themselves or knows me directly through a job. So I thought it was time to be a bit clearer here on the blog – I’m warning you now it’s a wordy post!
I would describe my job as a musician, which is purposefully very broad as I don’t like to label or pin myself down too much. I also rarely use the word freelance as I think with arts it’s a given! I have a very broad skillset thanks to lot of varied training, so to be more specific I would possibly get looked over for certain jobs. Sometimes I include other words like director, writer, researcher, teacher and composer. What it really means is that I do a variety of different jobs at the same time, mostly centred around music. Some jobs last only a couple of weeks, some 3-6 months and some have been constants for years, so my schedule changes weekly.
I rarely post about my current work and jobs on here as it changes so regularly, and also, it’s all covered elsewhere! I maintain a very friendly and informal mailing list (Lailaletter) and also have a page and website. But for the purposes of this post, I’ll tell you about my current jobs and the sorts of things they involve. It’s not a perfect overview but it is current!
Teaching – I’ve been doing this since I was in Sixth Form. This job involves regular communication with parents, submitting pupils for exams, lesson planning, dealing with new enquiries and writing report cards, as well as actually teaching the lessons on weekly basis. Unofficially, I also spend a lot of time helping my GCSE, A-Level and University pupils. They’re learning what to do, how to get into the industry, how to survive financially, what their strengths are and much more. Teachers have a special relationship with students and can really offer a lot of guidance and perspective.
Quizcats – this is a subdivision of my business WOLF PACK. We run themed pub quizzes which involve a live band and karaoke. I’m on an entrepreneurship scheme with this project and have regular meetings with my mentors. My work at the moment involves promotion, writing arrangements, managing the band, controlling social media, booking shows, maintaining the website and dealing with enquiries – mostly related to our upcoming show in 3 weeks time. I started both of these from scratch and did the concept and logos for both.
TAPE PARADE – not this blog but the songs! This “job” is really me doing what I want with my songs – at the moment I’m writing an albums worth of material that deals with my grief over losing my best friend last year. I’m also preparing a bunch to be recorded. This job earns the least money but is by far the most important to me. At other times this job may involve booking and promoting gigs or communicating with labels and agents.
Depping – on piano, bassoon, voice, clarinet, ukulele and accordion. Depping means I cover for absent players in orchestras, gigs, musical theatre concerts.
So that’s my “job” at the moment. It’s a relatively quiet time at the moment; I chose to take on less work after a heavy couple of months last year. I’ve got at least 3 new projects in the next couple of months so this post will be outdated in about two weeks! I’m quite proud of my body of work; I’ve created a lot of things, worked on some good shows and I’ve been fortunate to get to perform a lot. That’s really when I come to life! If you want to hear or see any of my work, then there are links to everything here, or join my newsletter. It’s basically an e-mail version of the life updates I used to occasionally post. Let me know what you think!
I hope things are a little clearer now! It’s been a fun 7 years of working entirely in music and creative arts and I’m grateful to be doing all the things I always wanted to. I realised whilst writing this that I could branch into various topics; CVs, networking, surviving money wise, time management, etc… let me know if you’re interested. 🙂